Free testing, treatment for Hepatitis C to be available later this year

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said later this year, the Government will be launching a programme to treat persons suffering from Hepatitis C. Treatment is costly, as such this initiative will unburden persons requiring it.
“Right now, we are in the process of launching a programme where all those persons who have been detected with Hep C, that we’ll be able to provide them with treatment and once they use it appropriately generally it cures about 99 percent of those patients,” Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony said.
Dr. Anthony added that when persons donate blood, that blood is screened, including checking for Hepatitis C and B and the results have shown a high number of persons living with the virus. “We detect a lot of Hep C and B, especially when people come to donate blood…and if we find the blood to contain Hep C virus those patients generally, we were not able to treat those patients,” he said.

The health ministry has already compiled a data base of persons infected with the virus so that they can have access to treatment. Dr. Anthony is encouraging persons who believe they might have the virus to get tested. “We’ll be providing those testing and so that we can all work together to first of all treat those patients and eventually we are hopeful that we can eliminate Hep C from Guyana.”
The minister also related that health officials are currently crafting guidelines with regards treatment. “If the physicians do not know how to use the medications, we are currently in the process of developing Hep C treatment guidelines and we’ll be training you, we’ll be releasing those guidelines so that once you get those patients, you can access the medications,” Minister Anthony noted. The Government, through the ministry of health will continue its efforts to eliminate a number of illnesses from the country, including Hepatitis. (DPI)

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